JPA Board & Executive Meeting Facilitation

Special experience in dealing with Board and senior management issues: Administration; Ethics; Bylaws; Personnel; Cultural & Communications.


facilitate-boardroomExecutives and those who serve on boards often achieved success through their brains, inheritance and/or a highly focused and spirited determinism.  This group is used to thinking and acting quickly, speaking up and voicing opinions, and expecting to be heard.  In other words, assertive behavior is generally not an issue, even in cultures or industries where assertiveness may be underplayed.  These ingredients coupled with a strong set of ethics, are part of the recipe for exceptional leadership.

Executive teams and boards require both open communication and collaboration in order to function at their best, and this is especially true for those at the top.  But how do you collaborate as a team when many if not most of the members are highly individualistic in nature?  And what do you do when “politics” and “behind-the-scenes” operations have invaded the group?  Bottom line: how do members handle the exceptionally unique dynamics that occur in these types of teams?

JPA has worked extensively with senior management, audit committees, board members, both one-on-one and/or with the entire senior management team at a number of organizations.  At times, work with management (including CEO’s) is part of a larger training or consulting contract, which also includes various assessments.  Executive development usually includes coaching, but it ranges from personal development for senior managers to facilitating greater collaboration, strategic planning and self-evaluation of results achieved with the senior management team.

The JPA process is a highly participatory program where the focus is on the actual challenges of your group. Participants can be expected to be open and frank to help improve communications and productivity.

The program is designed to build a “real-life” team that will obtain lasting results and includes both individual and group performance measures.  Once you learn the process you’ll likely wish to implement it across the organization.

Joan Pastor was lead facilitator for the National Security Agency for several years.  She has used this process to build a foundation of collaboration, increased morale, accountability, improved results and pursuit of a common vision.

Building Collaboration and Results-Based Organizations

This program is two full, highly-interactive days, which can also be spread out over half-day sessions to accommodate busy schedules.  The program lays out, step by step, the process for pulling together as a high-functioning, accountability-based, collaborative team that makes the absolute best decisions for the organization and achieves measurable results.

This process, carefully developed over 20 years by Dr. Pastor, has been used with groups at the highest levels of government, the intelligence community and in corporate America.  It can be modified to fit the group’s needs and the process can be spread out over several sessions.  The beauty of the process, however, is that members are guided to put in place a specific foundation and a template for how their group is going to interact over a specified period of time.


  1. Bring issues to the table:  expectations, hopes and concerns
  2. Implement and develop high-performing Executive and Board Teams (EBT)
    1. Special challenges of board and executive teams and how to overcome them
    2. Building collaboration:  one of the most profound and successful leadership skills you can have
    3. Building collaboration:  its direct relationship to organizational and career success
  3. What makes an EBT strong, successful and long-lasting
    1. Research taken from sports teams and sports psychology
    2. Research taken from positive business leaders and “positive psychology”
  4. Clarifying roles and responsibilities in new EBTs or in times of change (optional)
    1. Role clarification and expectations set up for each EBT member
    2. Role clarification and expectations with primary external and internal relationships that have a great impact on the organization
  5. The step-by-step process for building an EBT leadership team
    1. Accountability in individuals and  the team as a whole:  what it is exactly and how you build it
    2. Developing the focus or updating the vision for the organization
    3. Developing the management team’s focus for itself as a leadership team
    4. Developing “values and standards” to which everyone in the team are held
    5. Developing healthy communication processes and team support agreements for working together to accomplish the work and achieve the vision
    6. Developing goals and projects (or aligning current goals and projects) that ensure the ultimate vision and results the team wants to achieve are met
    7. Making everything measurable so that you know exactly what results are or are not being achieved
    8. Developing a baseline of the current EBT performance
    9. Doing a gap analysis between what is currently being done and what needs to be done, how to fill that gap, and how to measure progress on an ongoing basis

The rest of the outline fleshes out some of what is mentioned above.

  1. Organizational and Team Empowerment:  the foundation to any group becoming a successful team
    1. Group empowerment:  what it is, what it is not
    2. Personal empowerment:  what it is exactly and the impact it has on team performance
    3. Living in the victim or mastery cycles:  the fundamental belief and behavioral system that self-confidence, all leadership skills, and personal and organizational successes are based in.  All human beings have victim and mastery cycles, including executives and board members.  Learn why, and why this is good
    4. A demonstration of what happens when collaboration does/does not occur in your EBT.
  2. Developing the leadership Vision and Mission:  the guiding force for the organization and leaders
    1. Tying this vision into the corporate vision
    2. Making sure one’s vision is proactive, employee-oriented, and both externally and internally customer-oriented
    3. Developing values and standards for the Board and/or executives and/or all employees to conduct business from,  and breaking them down into actual demonstrated activities
    4. Optional:  specific work on developing an ethical organizational culture
  3. Developing Communication Skills, Processes and Team Support Agreements
    1. Measure # 1:
      1. Measuring the effectiveness of the team to collaborate with each other:  feedback from the team assessment that all participants filled out beforehand
      2. Identify the strengths and challenge areas of the EBT in working together and accomplishing their goals
      3. Establish ground rules and special “support” agreements for communication, leadership modeling, information-sharing,  sharing resources, group decision-making, resolving conflicts, evaluation progress, increasing trust, etc., to increase and solidify collaboration as a high-performing team.
    2. Measure # 2:   How to determine the effectiveness of your su


  1. Developing Team Support Agreements (Cont’d)
    1. Special interaction agreements between the head of the EBT and the rest of the team members
    2. Special interaction agreements between two team members (if time; may require or prefer additional coaching after the course)
  2. Developing Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to Measure EBT performance
    1. Measure # 3:  The Gap Analysis:  measuring the team’s current effectiveness at achieving their vision and goals
      1. Developing group decision-making procedures when consensus cannot be reached
      2. Using the team’s decision-making procedures to select the top Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
  3. Developing Plans from the top Critical Success Factors
    1. Determining a strategy for keeping team members and others outside the EBT informed
    2. Determining confidentiality issues
    3. Setting up the meeting structure for ongoing meetings
    4. Carry this collaborative and results-based approach down and across the organization, if desired
  4. Team Representation:  pulling together to cope with the rest of the organization (optional)Measure # 4:  Setting up the ongoing measurement structure for evaluation of the EBT’s effectiveness.
    1. Representing your EBT to the outside world appropriately, including media and the workforce
    2. Pulling together to develop and implement strategies for handling challenging situations that impact the team or the department
    3. Encouraging collaborative relationship across the organization and with vendors and customers to obtain mutually beneficial goals and results
  5. Close:  Personal and group action plans declared and made accountable.